Truckers resume regional operations after Kenya elections hitch

Trucks and fuel tankers queue at the Busia border in Uganda as they wait to cross over to Kenya on August 16, 2022. Pockets of protests in Kisumu and neighbouring counties seen to be Raila Odinga’s strongholds broke out on Monday evening after the IEBC announced that he had lost the election. PHOTO | DAVID AWORI

Truckers have resumed normal operations after the flow of goods between Kenya and the neighbouring countries was interrupted this week with the announcement of presidential results on Monday.

The chaos and uncertainty that had been witnessed in some pockets of the country saw truckers withdraw from the roads, paralysing trade along the Northern Corridor.

Chief executive officer of the Kenya Transporters Association (KTA) Mercy Ireri said they are now fully operational and that the flow of goods to either side of the border is back to normal.

“We have been at near zero in regard to road transport from the Port of Mombasa to the border towns of Malaba and Busia in the last couple of days, but now the situation has come back to normal,” said Ms Ireri.

She said the government has assured them of security along the busy highways, assuring transporters of their safety.

Kenya’s election situation forced Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi to divert their trucks from the Kisumu route to alternative longer ones.

Cargo trucks destined for Kenya via the Busia border were being diverted through Mumias road in Kakamega County to Bungoma and Eldoret on their way to Mombasa.

In the run-up to the August 9 polls, Uganda shipped fuel for its reserves, which the Ministry of Energy in Kampala said would be enough to last for 10 days.

Sector players in Uganda had warned that any persistent disruptions along the import route might see Uganda, which has already suffered sky-rocketing commodity prices, hit with fuel shortages in the coming days.

Northern Corridor, which starts at the Port of Mombasa, is a key trade route with a length of 1,700 kilometres and serves Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Eastern DRC.

The Central Corridor, which is an alternative to the northern route, is 1,300 km long and begins at the port of Dar es Salaam and serves Tanzania, Zambia, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Eastern DRC.

This story was first published in The East African

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